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Find Your Formula

November 12, 2023 by  
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Having a ton of money does not make for a perfect life and I’m pretty sure that most of you would agree with that. Still, a lot of what I have written about in my life is about making big money because there are lots of great things and big benefits that large amounts of money can do for you and those around you. I think my readers here would probably agree with that too. But, if people know how great wealth can be for them, why are most people not wealthy?

I’m pretty darn sure I know the answer to that question and it’s not one of the answers many people might think it would be. Not having wealth isn’t because they …

… don’t have a very high IQ.

… didn’t earn a college degree from a top school.

… didn’t win the lottery.

… didn’t come up with a stunning new invention.

… didn’t get a big inheritance.

So, if those are the reasons why most people aren’t wealthy, then what is it?

Well, there’s actually several reasons, but the biggest factor is a failure to follow or use a proven formula or plan. And believe it or not, that reason is a pretty darn simple one to do. Notice that I didn’t say it was easy to do. Following a formula or plan can take a lot of hard work and it does take time. But once you have a plan, you simply follow it.

Sure, there are a lucky few that make fortunes almost overnight, getting a big inheritance, discovering a new invention, or winning the lottery but those cases are very, very rare and can’t provide most people with a way to wealth. Most fortunes are made over many, many years by following a solid, time-tested, and proven financial formula.

It’s rather sad that so many people still think and dream of the day they are going to suddenly “strike it rich”. That myth is constantly fed by the rare but widely reported occasions when someone does get lucky. Those very exceptional cases are magnified by the media, and it keeps people holding on to “the dream”.

But winning the lottery or inventing the next big thing is not something you can plan for, much less depend on. Planning and finding a formula that works is the only way to make wealth happen for you. There are never any guarantees but if you plan, work hard, and keep at it, you are more than likely going to reach your goal and you’ll certainly be much better off than if you sat around waiting for wealth to find you.

So, don’t just dream about having large amounts of money. Do something about it. I have sure-fire formulas that you can read about in my books like The Next Step to Waking up the Financial Genius Inside You. Find your formula, make a plan, and get on track to improving your life with great wealth.

Reinventing Yourself

November 5, 2023 by  
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of reinventing yourself. If you’ve done this before, just think back on that great feeling of fulfillment brought about by the process of reinventing yourself. Although it’s not something we do all the time, it can be a huge boost to your life when you do.

Let’s take the physical part of our lives for example. Think about pushing yourself to lose weight and get in great physical shape at age 45, 55, or even 65. Building muscle, staying lean, and gaining flexibility can improve your health to the max. But can it be done?

Sure it can! Is it easy? Of course not. If it was, everyone would do it. But is it worth it? Well, that all depends on you because I’m not saying a super health goal is the only way to go. What goal you have that pushes you to reinvent yourself is up to you. Maybe it’s a whole new career, starting a new company, sailing the South Pacific, or any one of a hundred different things. But whatever you choose, at whatever age, it all can be done and it is so well worth it. And while you reinvent and redefine your life, you will also be reinvigorated, giving so much more life to your, well, life!

Now, reinventing yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and a lot of effort to redesign your life. It takes setting your mind on your goal and the changes you want to make and sticking with it. But, oh, the results you can gain! The results are a life that is so well worth the wait and all the hard work.

Right now, take a few moments to imagine your own ideal life.

  • What does it look like?
  • How does it feel?
  • Who’s there with you to share and enjoy it?
  • Where are you going to live?
  • How are you going to vacation?
  • What are you going to give back to the world? (You have probably noticed that when your give to others it raises your mood and happiness levels so much.)
  • How are you really going to make a real difference in your life?

Now, please know this — you can have all that you just imagined, exactly like you visualized, if, for one, you want it bad enough and, secondly, you are willing to make a plan, write it down, and follow the steps that you outline. I can’t pretend that reinventing yourself is easy, but all the best stuff we do for ourselves in life usually comes from hard work which just makes reaching those goals that much more fulfilling.

Finding That Passion for Living

October 22, 2023 by  
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Me and my wife Kimberly

Last week I started telling you the story of my life. I wanted you to see how setting big goals started me off on the path that I am on even today. So here is the rest of my story with a little bit more about what I’ve done and how having big goals that keep me excited and challenged led to much of my success.

For one, I worked on bigger and bigger real estate investment deals. My work in the development side of real estate has been among my most profitable endeavors. I successfully developed large condominium complexes in Pennsylvania and Mississippi. I completed a 13-acre commercial development in the south part of the Salt Lake valley and a very successful condominium project on the beautiful North Shore of Kauai. Although I am less involved in real estate development today, I still have a few projects going with much of the work handed off to my children.

After finding success in real estate, I knew I wanted to something else big and something that could help others find the kind of success I did. So, I eventually developed and successfully ran a real estate investing seminar company that would set the standard for real estate investing seminars, conventions, and educational retreats throughout the world.

I not only became extremely successful in my seminar business and as a real estate investor, but I also got into writing books. I am now the author of four books on real estate investing including the book titled, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, which has sold over two million copies. I also published the Financial Freedom Report, a real estate investing magazine, for over 20 years. Then after my so-called retirement, I published another book called, How to IGNITE Your Passion for Living. It wasn’t about real estate but instead I wrote about what keeps us chasing those dreams and those big goals.

You see, after I tried to retire, I felt very lost and depressed. It was then that I realized we human beings need to do more than just have one or two big goals to go after and to succeed at to be happy. We need to have something to work towards, something to keep us challenged and purposeful. So, I wrote that book and started this blog and I keep creating big goals like keeping myself super healthy and active.  

I have also learned to balance my life with my many passions. I love to travel, having visited well over 100 countries. I still love to write which is why I keep this blog going. I also love tennis and getting out to see my friends. All these passions are surpassed only by my devotion to my wonderful wife, Kimberly, and to my children and grandchildren.

So, as you see, I have kept my life full of things that I can work on and challenge myself with as well as enjoy. We need to always have a goal and a purpose and, especially, a passion for living.

Forming Those Big Goals

October 15, 2023 by  
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Mark, lower right, and the Ankara Champion basketball team in 1961

I’ve been talking a lot about my past in recent posts. I thought maybe you should hear my whole story—maybe shortened a bit—so you understand how my goal setting and persistence has really paid off over the years.

I was born in Portland, Oregon but have lived in quite a few US cities and even overseas. I attended high school for a little over two years in Turkey, then we moved back to the US where I graduated in 1962 from Ames High School in Iowa. Afterwards, I attended Utah State University on a basketball and track scholarship.

This was the time when my big goal setting really started. I went to college, dreaming of eventually being a professional basketball player but after spending most of my time on the bench, I decided I needed a plan B and pursued a Degree in Business, and I really took to it. After I graduated, rather than continue to chase my dream of playing professional basketball, I went on to further my education in business through post-graduate work at De Paul University in Chicago.

My business career began as a stockbroker with Goodbody & Company in 1969. I also worked as a stockbroker for Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis, and for Bosworth Sullivan, the latter for whom I managed an office in Salt Lake City, Utah from 1972 to 1974.

Although I did well those first handful of years in business, I knew I wanted more. I considered a political career for a little while and ran for Utah State Treasurer in 1975. I didn’t manage that, but I had another big goal I was working towards. I had decided that I wanted to be a millionaire.

Now that was a really big goal and one that made people wonder about me a little. But I did my research on how to make it happen and then started purchasing real estate. I bought cheap, dirt bag properties, fixed them up, and began making huge profits selling them in a hot market. In just four short years, I made over a million dollars. I’d reached my goal!

However, I didn’t stop there. But I will stop this post here and wait until next week to tell you what happened in my life after I hit that first big goal. Hint: I didn’t stop making big goals and just kept challenging myself. I encourage you to be the same way. Have big dreams, write them down, and don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.

Believe in Your Truth

October 8, 2023 by  
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I have had the belief these many years that I was going to live to be very, very old. In fact, I was brash enough, many years ago, to run a full-page ad in Denver’s Rocky Mountain News literally saying that I was going to live to the age of 144.

At best, that goal of mine is questionable, and at worst, it’s ridiculous. But if I choose to believe it, and it drives my life to the point that I take excellent care of myself (while revealing the need to cultivate friendships with a lot of young people), can you find fault in that goal? I don’t think so.

Of course, if I step in front of a bus or die from any cause at all before the year 2088, you can laugh and say, “Yep, he was crazy,” and prove I was wrong. But before, and until, I pass on, you really can’t prove me wrong. And besides, if my so-called “ridiculous goal” drives me to do a number of things I would not have done without it, then I think it was a very good, useful, and beautiful goal.

So, is my true believer mindset aiding my health or hurting it? Well, it comes down to whether I believe that my mind-set can aid my health or hurt it. And I do believe it can help. Now, can you use that mindset and attach it to any goal or lifestyle that you choose? And, if you do, can anyone really prove that doing so is wrong or even just ridiculous?

A belief in something that is true for you doesn’t have to be connected to the ultimate so-called truth that other people believe in. Especially if having that belief helps you live a better life.

The thing is, you and I have the power to decide what we do with our lives as well as what is true for us as individuals. That power allows us to dream and set goals that can bring about the things we want in our lives. In other words, we decide what is true in order to find and support what works for us.

Once you have set your course, don’t let someone else talk you out of your life’s passion because that is your truth and if you let it, it will drive your life and most likely make your life much better and much more satisfying.

I love the plaque on the wall of tennis champion Tracy Austin which reads, “The world will step aside for the person who knows where they are going!” So, decide where you want to go and believe in it.

The Onassis Method

October 1, 2023 by  
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megaphone

Last week I started telling you the story of a young man who asked me for some financial advice. His questions and what I had to tell him was too good not to share. Supercharging your goals is something we can all benefit from.

As I mentioned last week, you must first firmly set your financial goals and then write them down with a time deadline. After that, you can supercharge and speed up your success by following these few easy tips:

1. Go out and find a mentor — mentors are a must!

2. Get your feet wet and get some experience with a few small financial deals.

3. Go out and make yourself the best calling card possible.

4. Use a “Partner Path” to supercharge and speed toward your goal.

Anyone who has followed my blog over the years knows that I became as financially successful as I have by wisely using leverage to buy real estate. I started with small houses, duplexes and small apartment buildings [usually ones that needed to be fixed up] then I rented them out and/or sold them.

Just look at these numbers and the return on investment and you can see how a person can make a fortune in a short time by using ten to one leverage and selling property for, let’s say, a 10% higher price than the price paid for it. This can give a 40% or 50% return on the total money you invested, maybe even more, because of leverage.

So, with this as the basic game plan I advised the young man to start on the list I just gave you. First, we talked about mentors.

A mentor should be someone that has done what you want to do and has been successful at it. I encouraged this young man to meet with his mentor frequently and to pick his or her brain as often as he could.  He was already doing that with me but with how much I travel back then, he was going to need at least a back-up mentor.

But, how do you find a mentor and, more importantly, how can you get them to agree to be your mentor? Well, my advice is to use what I call the Onassis method. This follows what Aristotle Onassis did many years ago when starting out to meet the perfect contact so he could import cigarettes from Greece to South America.

When Onassis was a very young man — long before he made his fortune — he wanted to meet this particular top guy in the cigarette business that he thought could help launch him into his first business deal importing cigarettes. So, basically, Onassis just pestered the guy. He simply stood out in front of this man’s office every morning then by his gate at night. He didn’t say anything.

Finally, after about 2 weeks, this very influential cigarette executive stopped and said to Onassis, “Who are you and what do you want?” Finally having his chance, Onassis started talking. Because of that conversation, this top executive told him to go see his main buyer and use his name as a reference. From that simple strategy, Onassis began his road to become a billionaire. 

I used a similar but easier tactic to meet with Ray Kroc, the billionaire founder of McDonalds. I called his office almost daily asking his secretary for an appointment and after many, many phone calls she said that Ray would meet with me but for only 10 minutes. I flew to San Diego and met with Ray Kroc walking out of his office 2 hours later. Hey, what can I say? I just asked him to tell me why and how he became such a great success in life and business and as it turned out he loved talking about himself. Who doesn’t?

There are three more items you will want to implement in order to be super successful but let’s save those for next week. In the meantime, think about who you would want as a mentor. Who is doing what you want to do in a very successful way? And what would it take to get a hold of that person and have them mentor you?

The Rewards of Sharing

September 24, 2023 by  
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Recently, I was thinking back about the time I met a very ambitious young man who had some big, big dreams for the future. I was really impressed and fascinated by what he told me about his life plans and could easily see myself in him. Well, I could see the me I was 40 plus years before in him. I too had huge dreams of success back then.

I remember that, as I listened to him, many sweet memories came back. My younger years were such fun and exciting times. I was very fortunate to have gained both fame and fortune (even though the fame only lasted the traditional 15 minutes but it was great!)

This young man was telling me his story because he wanted me to give him some advice and help on a plan and formula for success. So, basically, I told him my road to riches story, about how I started with nothing but eventually found my fortune, far exceeding my wildest dreams.

The thing is, even though I became a multimillionaire, it wasn’t my first big dream and goal. I had initially aimed to be an NBA basketball star. I had led my American High School team from Ankara, Turkey to a come-from-behind finals victory in the Olympic stadium in Rome. I was on top of the mountain then and thought I could do anything but when I got to Utah State University on a scholarship and found myself sitting on the bench, I realized I needed to alter my goals a bit.

I quickly shifted my thinking from being all about basketball to gaining knowledge through books on goal setting and fortune building. I became fixated on making a million dollars and wrote the goal down with a drop-dead date — my 30th birthday. Although I missed the deadline by one year, I did become a millionaire, and then, much more than that.

So, my advice to this kid was to set a big goal, or goals, write those goals down, and then be sure to set a time deadline on those goals. I added that it’s also better to set goals around things that you love, enjoy doing, and know you have some talent for.

Then I told him about the habit I had formed when I was only 19 years old — the habit of keeping a journal of my life and, more important, of my inner most thoughts. I told this young man that those many journal entries over the years lead me to write a book that not only enhanced my own life but also pushed me to do more. That book gave me virtually instant fame and even added to my fortune. I was so blessed and lucky to eventually sell more than 2 million copies of my first book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, and that was just the beginning.

Thinking about all I’ve done with my life, I have to say I get as much joy and satisfaction from sharing my success and mentoring others as I get from reaching my goals. It’s why I write this blog, hoping I can continue to help and motivate others to keep reaching for those big goals.

The White Hot Motivator

September 17, 2023 by  
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I really do think that most of us know that we have the power to decide what we want to do with our lives. So, we can dream and set goals to bring about exactly that. We decide what is true and what works for us. Once you have set your course, don’t let someone else talk you out of your life’s passion because that is your truth and if you let it, it will drive your life.

I love the plaque on the wall of tennis champion Tracy Austin. It reads, “The world will step aside for the person who knows where they’re going.”

Why don’t you and I be that person? Believe in your dreams, believe in your goals, believe in your destiny. Yes, be a true believer! Don’t get caught in the trap that so many people step into that is summarized by the old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

When I was 27, I turned my dream of making a million dollars by the time I was 30 into a real solid focused goal. It was my “true belief” that I could do it. Yes, many of my friends and family said it was impossible. But, you see, it wasn’t their truth. It was mine and no one could prove me wrong.

So, what happened? Well, they were right. I didn’t make it! My truth was not true, but so what? I did make it at age 31. My goal was only off by one year. I can live with that.

It took three years before they proved me wrong. But even being wrong, I turned that goal into one million dollars only a year later. I like that kind of not quite right truth.

The bottom line is you just need to work hard on your reasons for setting goals. Setting up those goals with hard work and determination is the ultimate motivator.

So, as you think about and set goals, take time to think through the reasons behind your goal. Consider the “why” behind her goal setting. Because your reasons behind your goals can be the supercharger, the white-hot motivator, that pushes you beyond what you even thought was possible.

Beyond the Average

September 3, 2023 by  
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Over the years, I have written a lot about goal setting and how it can change and improve your brain and life. Am I saying that if you spend a little time setting a few goals then lots of benefits will automatically flow to you? No, I’m not saying that.

What I am saying is, if you seriously want to improve your life, you can, but it takes effort. With enough intense time spent thinking about how your life has been in the past and what you want it to be in the future, you will lift your mind and body to a new and higher level. And that’s over and above the real successes you will derive from goal setting.

Ask yourself, “What do I really want out of life?” I’m pretty sure you don’t want to, as Henry David Thoreau said, “live lives of quiet desperation,” as seems to be the case with most people.

Hinduism tells us that every human being wants four things: pleasure, success, a responsible discharge of duty, and liberation. But you have to find your own version of these things.

To help you figure that out, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you want your life to be just another life?

2. Do you want to be average?

3. Do you want to make a difference in this world?

4. Does accomplishment mean a lot to you?

5. Do you want to become a better you, a better person?

6. Do you want to be in great physical and mental shape with ideal health your entire life?

7. Do you want to live a very long active life?

8, Do you want to make a fortune –a million dollars, or ten million, or even a hundred million? (Think what good you could do with that money!)

9. Do you want more choices in your life, the kind that making your own fortune could give you?

10. Do you want to leave the world a better place than you found it?

11. Do you want to help others as you help yourself?

12. Do you want to travel and experience the entire world and its cultures?

13. Do you want to substantially raise your level of contentment and fulfillment?

I dare say there’s not a single human on the planet that has not, at one time or another, entertained some great big dream for their life. What have you thought about and dreamed about doing? Are you doing things that will lead you to that goal now, things that will lift your life along with the lives of your friends and family?

There’s no reason to live a life of quiet desperation. You just need those goals and to take those steps to move your life beyond the average.

A Brain Hack for Big Goals

July 23, 2023 by  
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There is no particularly easy way to reach your goals but there are certainly easier ways and harder ways. Whether your goal is to make a million dollars, write a bestselling book, or visit 100 different countries, the easier way to reach those goals includes a very simple thing—making lists. And I don t mean in your head. I mean writing those lists down. Why does writing out a list make reaching a goal easier? Because if you write it down it does some very good stuff inside your brain.

In Chapter 7 of Henriette Klauser’s book, Write It Down, Make It Happen, she tells the story of her friend Sydne who turned her life around mainly from the single action of writing down a list of goals. Klauser says, “Writing a list gets it out of your head. Heads can be dark swamps, the conversations, the constant chatter, whatever you want to call it, keeps interfering. Writing a list gets it out of the swamp, onto paper. You can see a list in black and white and it’s real.”

She goes on to say that if your lists are very specific, your brain will more likely help you reach those goals. “When you are vague and general, you are safe. Get to the essence of it; that’s when things happen. Nothing can happen when you’re generalized and safe–nothing changes.”

The author’s advice is to use listing as an opportunity to crystallize your intent–to learn what matters most to you. She goes on to say, “Keep that list handy, and look at it regularly, especially if you lose heart or feel scared. Emblazon it in your mind. Repeat to yourself ‘This is what I want, and it is waiting for me.’”

Remember, keep your list very specific even for things such as buying a car. She says you don’t just want to write that you want a new car, but put down the make, model, and other details you want in that car. The more specific, the more real it will feel.

I must say that goal setting and writing down the specifics of my goals has changed my brain and improved my life in huge ways. When I was 27 years old, I set the very specific goal to make a million dollars by the time I was 30 and, yes, I wrote it down and looked at that written goal on a regular basis. On top of that, I went to work finding the ways and means, along with getting great help from a couple of fantastic mentors, to hit my target. I missed the goal though. Well, that is to say that I missed the date by one year but reached it at age 31! But I don’t think I would have reached it at 31 if I didn’t put down my specific goals in writing.

Pretty much the same thing happened when I set the written goal to write a bestselling book. That book was How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, which eventually sold over one million copies.

I am absolutely convinced that writing it down did in fact change my brain and make all those great things happen. So, if you are not already writing your specific goal lists down, I hope you start doing so right now.

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